Slovakia and Finland have signed a deal that would see the former’s industry participate in producing 76 armored combat vehicles already on order from Patria, the Finnish defense company announced Tuesday.
The Slovak government in March chose Patria to supply the eight-wheel drive AMV XP platform. According to a news release by the Slovak Defence Ministry, the vehicles will feature the remote-controlled Slovak Turra 30 turret and the 30mm GTS-30/A cannon.
The company release did not provide a contract value. But Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad on Tuesday said Patria would sell each vehicle for €4.675 million (U.S. $4.682 million), which means the total value of the vehicle sale could be worth about €355.3 million.
According to the Patria release, the latest government-to-government deal will see Slovak companies help manufacture the vehicles. Manufacturing of the first eight vehicles will take place in Finland, and Slovak workers will travel there to learn about the process, the Slovak ministry said. Production for the remaining vehicles will occur in Slovakia in partnership with contractor Konštrukta Defence and six main Slovak subcontractors, the ministerial release added.
The release said the first AMV XP vehicles are to be delivered to Slovakia as early as September 2023, with the ministry expecting the vehicles made in Slovakia to roll out beginning in 2024 and ending in 2027.
“We will not only meet the 40% level of Slovak defence industry content, but we will even exceed this limit — already today I can confirm a nearly 43% stake, yet this may not be the final figure,” Nad said in a statement Tuesday.
Slovakia’s efforts to improve its inventory of armored vehicles go back several years and are part of the country’s NATO commitments, Jukka Holkeri, executive vice president for Patria’s global division, told Defense News.
“So in that sense, it’s not something that was invented recently,” he explained. “On the other hand, we firmly believe that the Russian aggression to Ukraine has made it more and more important” for countries like Slovakia to invest in defense.
For its part, Finland has learned several lessons from the war in Ukraine, according to Finnish Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen. “[I]t has shown how important interoperability across partners is. Also thanks to this, we will give our armed forces the ability to cooperate. We will do all it takes to deliver the vehicles on time, so that Slovakia gets the much needed capabilities,” he was quoted as saying in the Slovak ministry release.
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